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Graduate Student Activities


What’s the Story? A Graduate Student Workshop on Formulating a Research Presentation for a General Audience

Thursday, August 7, 1:00 p.m. – 2:20 p.m., Hilton Portland, Ballroom Level, Galleria I

Presenting our research to undergraduate students can be both fun and rewarding. It can also be difficult, however, since the gory details of our results often require a great deal of specific jargon and background. Nonetheless, the big ideas can almost always be presented at a variety of levels, and this workshop is designed to interactively help participants develop the skills needed to formulate a presentation on their research that is appropriate for an audience of undergraduate students. Since many colleges and universities require giving such a talk as part of a job interview, almost any graduate student will have the opportunity to do so, and the ability to communicate complex mathematical ideas to students is a valued trait in a candidate. This workshop will consist of hands-on activities and audience interaction aimed toward developing and improving the necessary skills for creating an engaging and accessible presentation for undergraduates. Participants should be prepared to discuss in groups a potential presentation on their research or other related topic.

Rachel SchwellCentral Connecticut State University

MAA Committee on Graduate Students
Young Mathematicians Network

Panel Session

How to Apply for Non-Academic Jobs

Thursday, August 7, 2:35 p.m. – 3:55 p.m., Hilton Portland, 23rd Floor, Skyline 2

Many Mathematics graduates seek academic jobs, but there are a vast number of opportunities for mathematicians outside of academia. Panelists in this session will discuss the non-academic job search process from where to find job postings to interviewing. Panelists with experience in a variety of non-academic positions in business, industry and government will speak about their own experiences and what they look for in potential new hires and future colleagues.

Jessica Deshler, West Virginia University

Allen Butler, Daniel H. Wagner Associates, Inc.
Thomas Grandine, The Boeing Company
Kim Sacra, National Security Agency

Committee on Professional Development

Graduate Student Reception

Thursday, August 7, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Hilton Portland, Executive Tower, Salon Ballroom II

Graduate students are invited for some refreshments and to meet several of the invited speakers.

Estela A. GavostoUniversity of Kansas
James FreemanCornell College

Panel Session

Non-Academic Career Paths for Students who Like Mathematics

Friday, August 8, 2:35 p.m. – 3:55 p.m., Hilton Portland, 23rd Floor, Skyline 2

With events like recent super typhoon Haiyan and super storm Sandy occurring more frequently, many companies have come to realize that there is a greater need to hire those who can measure risk. The need to employ those with quantitative skills will continue to be in high demand. What kinds of jobs are available to those with these analytic and quantitative skill sets? Come to this panel to find out! You'll see that there are jobs in risk management, but also jobs in the tech field as well, Moreover, there are places for mathematicians in non-profits and the government sector too! During this panel we will hear from mathematicians from these various fields. Each panelist will be given the opportunity to describe their non-academic career and how their mathematical coursework prepared them best. Then we will open the floor to questions.

Lisa Marano, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Karen Marrongelle, Oregon University System
Ben Galluzzo, Shippensburg University

Mike SchumacherPortland Trail Blazers
Kenton WhiteNike
Matthew SottileGalois
Stephen GriecoNike
Andy NiedermaierJane Street Capital

Poster Session

PosterFest 2014: A Poster Session of Scholarship by Early Career Mathematicians and Graduate Students

Friday, August 8, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Hilton Portland, Exhibit Hall

This poster session will allow early career mathematicians, including untenured faculty and graduate students, to present and discuss their scholarly activities with other attendees in an informal atmosphere. Examples of scholarly activities suitable for this poster session include expository work, preliminary reports, scholarship of teaching and learning, and research reports. Presenters should have their materials prepared in advance and will be provided with a self-standing, trifold tabletop poster approximately 48 in wide by 36 in high. Proposals should be submitted at and and should indicate whether the presenter is a graduate student or untenured faculty. The deadline for submission is Friday, June 6, 2014. Questions regarding this session should be sent to the organizers.

Doug EnsleyShippensburg University
Audrey Malagon, Virginia Wesleyan College

MAA Committee on Early Career Mathematicians
Young Mathematician's Network
MAA Committee on Graduate Students

Great Talks for a General Audience: Coached Presentations by Graduate Students

Saturday, August 9, 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Hilton Portland, Plaza Level, Broadway I & II

Presenters in this session must be graduate students. While many graduate students will be asked to give a lecture to a general audience, which includes undergraduates and non-mathematicians as part of a job interview, most students do not have experience talking to a non-research audience. This session gives graduate students the opportunity to give a 20-minute talk aimed at an undergraduate audience which has been exposed to calculus and some linear algebra. Both the talks and abstracts should be designed to excite a wide range of undergraduates about mathematics. All participants in this session will receive private feedback on their presentations from an established faculty member and an undergraduate student. Time permitting, a discussion of effective techniques for delivering great general-audience talks will occur at the end of the session.  Contact Jim Freeman ( or Rachel Schwell ( for help on writing an abstract and preparing a talk for a general audience.  Graduate student participants in this session should also attend the graduate student workshop (What’s the Story?) on mathematical presentations. Abstracts must be submitted by June 15, 2014.

Jim Freeman, Cornell College
Rachel Schwell, Central Connecticut State University

Committee on Graduate Students